21 People Shared With Us The Mistake They Made While Planning Their Wedding
The number of guests and overspending are just some of the things people said they would change.
"Don't try to do it all yourself no matter what your skill level is. I am a professional wedding planner and tried to do what I thought would be easy and ended up overstressing myself way too much. Also, start getting ready verrrry early so you have plenty of time to relax, eat, and enjoy time with your wedding party as well. The number one complaint I always hear is how fast the day went and the missed time with loved ones. People never budget enough downtime to remember and truly enjoy the day."
"The guest list. I would have whittled it down to who we wanted, not inviting some distant cousins, etc. to make our parents happy. I've been married six years and there are some guests who I haven't seen since the wedding. Have who YOU want there — screw everyone else's opinions and requests."
"I loved my wedding, but there are a few things I would have changed. First, I would not have obsessed over the small details — yes, obsessively setting up a 'unique' guestbook with vintage postcards that people could write in, but didn’t because they were too busy actually enjoying the reception was probably not the best use of my time and money.
Second, I would’ve stuck to my guns and insisted on the wedding date I wanted. As it ended up, we got married on the hottest day of the year AND I was five months pregnant, which also meant I had to get a different wedding dress than the dream dress I had already purchased. Lastly, I would’ve taken the money we had spent on those expensive little details and put it towards a videographer. The pictures are great, but I will always regret not having video of our first dance."
"I wouldn’t try to please everyone. Someone is always going to feel disgruntled or not recognize the effort. So just do it for you!
I got married in a Catholic church thinking it would make my family upset if I didn’t (I’m not religious). The priest was awful and throughout the ceremony kept talking about infidelity and telling the photographer off (my best friend) because HE tripped over his words. Totally unromantic! A few months after, my grandma said she didn’t care where I got married...so we shouldn’t have fitted our plans around what we thought people wanted."
"Do whatever you want! I had people tell me that we couldn’t have a Taco Bell/ Chick-fil-A buffet because it’s not classy — and I ended up relenting on that point because of the pressure. But I still got flack about wearing my natural (big, coily) hair, not wearing a veil, choosing a minimalist dress.
Everyone is going to have their opinion and input, but ultimately it should reflect your personalities and it should be fun. If you’re gonna spend money, at least make sure it’s something you love! Also, don’t spend too much because it’s really not worth it. The day goes by so quick it’s ridiculous."
"I had quite a small wedding (50-ish guests), but I wish it had been even smaller. I felt obligated to invite family members I hardly knew and ones I don't really get on with. I wish it had just been the two of us and immediate family only."
"We had a chocolate fountain at our wedding. In addition to this, we invited several families with kids. If I did it all again I wouldn't have a chocolate fountain, because I loved having the kids there but they wanted to hug me in my dress with chocolate fingers. I'm not sure how I still got away clean."
"We had an amazing wedding and both of us are still happy we made the majority of the choices we did! But my one big regret was the dress. Yes, it was beautiful, but not only did I spend way more than I planned, I felt harried and pushed by the bridal salon to 'say yes to the dress!' rather than taking my time and looking at other stores as well. I wish I would have been more assertive and waited to buy my dress before I looked elsewhere — including perhaps some secondhand shops."
"I let a close family friend be the photographer because she said she would do it for free (even though she had no experience). The photos aren’t horrible, but I definitely hate looking at them. I also let a friend do my hair and it was...not great. TLDR: splurge on actual professionals for your wedding — I promise it’s worth it."
"I wouldn’t have went around talking to everyone because it takes up your whole reception. Should’ve had a receiving line. And I wouldn’t have gotten drunk after the reception with our friends at the hotel, 'cause we almost missed our flight the next morning."
"I would've had a destination wedding with just a few family members. Not only would I have saved money, but we would have had fun with people we loved alone."
"Be open-minded! Try different things and consider other ideas, because what's 'perfect' in your head might not be so in practice.
My sister-in-law had been dreaming of her 'perfect' wedding since she was a kid. She stubbornly insisted on the big church wedding, a huge princess dress, and all the trimmings, despite our family trying to encourage her to try different things. Now she regrets some choices; the dress was heavy and uncomfortable, they spent too much money on things that didn't matter, they invited a lot of people they haven't spoken to since, and neither her nor my brother have set foot in a church since the wedding day!"
"Don’t touch anything that actually has anything to do with 'weddings.' The moment you call something a wedding cake, a wedding dress, or a wedding bouquet it costs three times as much."
"I wish I would have known that some people will come to the ceremony and not the reception. We had an entire empty table at the reception because people didn’t stay for it (it was my nephew's prom, and my parents' friends had flown in from Europe the previous day and were tired). If I’d included a space for that on the RSVP card, I could have invited some work friends who didn’t get invited because I didn’t think there was room for them."
"I overspent in every category by just a little, and it made me way over budget in the end. Looking back, I could have simplified decorations, chosen a cheaper meal, used plain linens, etc. Those things end up being so unimportant!"
"My parents said they would pay for my fiancé and me to fly to Hawaii and have a small wedding on the beach, but I wanted all of my family there and not everyone would be able to come to Hawaii. That was dumb because my wedding day was so stressful and even though all my family was there, I didn’t get to spend time with them because I was dealing with wedding stuff. I should have taken my parents' offer. I now tell everyone who isn’t married to have the easy and small destination wedding, even my daughters."
"My biggest tip is to know what is actually important to you before you start to plan. It’s so easy to get swept up in the wedding magazines, the Pinterest boards, and the fairy-tale wedding stories! And when you do, you can end up spending time and money on stuff that you realize after the fact didn’t matter to you at all. What you care about is likely to be different for each couple — for example: Don’t spend big bucks for a limo if you realize you’d rather ride in a relative’s cool vintage car!
My other big tip is to think about your vendors. If you’re doing a massive wedding with flowers everywhere, you definitely need a florist. For my wedding, I needed one bouquet for me, one for my sister who was my maid of honor, and two boutonnières, and we were able to get beautiful arrangements from a grocery store floral department, using in-season flowers, for less than many people pay for a single bouquet."
"Don’t be afraid to ask for help with planning! For my first wedding, I planned the entire event by myself because the groom didn’t want to help and we couldn’t afford a wedding planner. I obsessed over every minuscule detail for months, and every time family or friends offered to help I said no because I had convinced myself that it was my responsibility because it was 'my wedding,' but I was miserable the entire time.
For my second wedding, the groom was much more involved, and the decisions I had dreaded making years earlier were now fun because I wasn’t making them alone."
"Set boundaries respectfully in the beginning, especially with family members who want to be involved and give their opinion every step of the way. I got so overwhelmed trying to make everyone else happy because I didn’t set firm boundaries about what my expectations were. So when my future in-laws (who have quite a bit more money than my family) put their two cents in, I found myself hurt and feeling that I wasn’t making our wedding good enough for their son. Whereas if I had set those boundaries (respectfully) from the beginning, we could’ve avoided so much family drama."
"Maybe I’m dumb for cutting this corner and everyone is going to say 'duh,' but I would recommend that everyone spend the extra money on a makeup and hair trial. I hired someone based on photos of their past work, and while my hair and makeup looked professional, it didn’t look anything like the photos we’d discussed via email and reviewed that morning. Having my hair and makeup done had already felt like an indulgence, so I was trying to be cost-conscious by skipping the trials, but I just ended up spending a lot of money on an end result I wasn’t in love with.
I wish I’d scheduled the trial to coincide with another wedding-related event like the bachelorette party or wedding shower, so it wouldn’t be a waste of makeup!"
Submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.